ECHOLINK was formally interfaced to the W8DF 224.24 repeater on Nov 14, 2007.

   The hardware is nothing more than a computer running 24 hours a day interfaced to a Midland 13-509 operating on 224.24/222.64. Echolink software controls what the -509 transmits and the software listens to what the -509 receives.  This has introduced a few new terms and a new method of operating.  Local repeater users will experience no difference using the repeater other than the
new added features.

   As you listen to the repeater, you may hear "(callsign)
connected."  Call him!  It means that a ham has, thru echolink, connected to W8DF using his computer or using his transceiver just as if he were here in town, which he may be!  When he is finished, you will hear "(callsign) disconnected."  That simply means he went QRT.

   What can this do for you?  Using your 224.24 transceiver tone pad, you can enter C(nnnnn) where (nnnnn) is a node number.  Node numbers are assigned to each echolink user.  W8DF-R is assigned node 360014.  If you are in warm Florida, you only need to locate a repeater (or Link) interfaced to echolink, which may be on 2 meters, the 220 band, or the 440 band.  Here in Battle Creek, the KB7YQY 442.35 repeater is on echolink.  You only need enter 360014 (no C) to connect to W8DF.  Try it!  You can get on 220 using your 440 rig!  Use the # key to disconnect when finished with your QSO. On the internet, go to to locate repeater and link
node numbers for any place you may travel.  With a transceiver or computer, you can use W8DF-R thru the internet from anywhere in the world.

   Echolink provides for two kinds of users, the most popular being a SINGLE USER.  The other is SYSOP (system operator).  A sysop is identified by (callsign)-L or (callsign)-R.  The -L (link) is intended to be a sysop computer interfaced to a transceiver on a simplex frequency.  This gives local hams echolink access on a simplex frequency.  The -R (repeater) is intended to be a sysop computer interfaced to a repeater.



   Echolink became operational on the W8DF 224.24 repeater November 15, 2007.  It has operated 24 hours a day since then except for a couple short periods for upgrades.  The computer was provided by Russ-N8UU and Don-W8RVT built the interface to a Midland 13-509 transceiver provided by Lou-WB8WXS.  The computer is on the internet via DSL at Don's residence.

   The Echolink program keeps a detailed System Log and a Callsign Log.  A review of those logs showed 96 connections by the end of November.  Not included are those connections made for testing.  Four SMARS club members made their first appearance on W8DF 224.24 using echolink to check in the Monday evening net.  Dave-AB8HK used his 440 rig to link the KB7YQY repeater to W8DF to check in the net.

   Listening to the repeater can be interesting.  On Nov 23, I had just climbed in bed and discovered I forgot to turn the echolink speaker off.  As I came out to turn it off, I heard a station in New York calling CQ on W8DF/R, so I answered his call.  Chatting with him, I told him I was in Battle Creek.  A station with a bit of an accent broke in telling me he had been in Battle Creek.  Said he flew into Kalamazoo then drove here for a bowling tournament., His name was Andy and he was mobile in Sidney, Australia!


( Gleaned from )

Many drivers have observed oncoming headlights that appear blue. These headlights are called HIDs and are capable of giving better vision for the driver of a car equiped with them.

What are HIDs?  Compare the HID headlight with a more conventional halogen headlight which consists of a wire filament surrounded by an inert gas. When electrical current is applied to the filament, it glows brightly to produce light.  The HID bulb which has no filament, but instead consists of xenon gas, mercury, and metal halide salts. The xenon gas is ignited by an arc of high-voltage current and glows brightly.

Proper use of the HID results in a better field of vision thus enhancing safety. However, blue light is more tiring not only to the oncoming driver, but to the driver of the car having HIDs. Since this driver is constantly using this blue light, he will be the hardest hit.  Compounding this is that the choices of blueness in the output of the blue conflicts with a desire to be noticed. The bluer the output, the less light output. But! The bluer the output, the cooler we appear!

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